People with Diabetes
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Around age of diagnosis Harriet and her daughter, 2004 Harriet, 2004
5. 01 1960s - Harriet`s recipe sheet from Great Ormond Street
 
 
Interview 5 Harriet

Person with diabetes and family member
Born in London in 1954.
Diagnosed Type 1 in London in 1967


Overview: Harriet was diagnosed when she was 12, and loved Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she was treated until she was 17. Her grammar school couldn`t cope with her diabetes, so she left at 15 to do O and A Levels elsewhere, and eventually gained a Diploma in Fine and Decorative Arts. She has worked for the Tate Gallery and for a company that bought art for corporations, and has also run her own business, and worked in college and university administration. Her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 9.
There is also an interview with Harriet`s husband, Greg.

Please note that Overview relates to date of recording 13 April 2004

 Short samples

1 When Harriet was pregnant with her son in 1985, she was very impressed by the care she received at King’s Hospital in London. When she was pregnant with her daughter in 1989, she was less impressed by the care she received at the JR Hospital in Oxford [ 40 secs ]

2 Her daughter was diagnosed with diabetes in 1999, and Harriet feels that, by that time, diabetes had become far more socially acceptable than it was when she herself was diagnosed in 1967 [ 58 secs ]

 
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01 Born 1954, London. Girl at primary had diabetes, & I met her after my diagnosis. School nurse said I should go to doctor.
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02 Went to GP, then Great Ormond Street, in 1967, aged 12, for 6 weeks. Trained to do injections, count portions & test urine.
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03 Urine testing. Wicked not to keep to strict regime. Measuring food.
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04 Still have affection for Gt. Ormond St.
Deliberate hypo – useful training.
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05 I was empowered by training, but mother uncomfortable.
At school, played on illness, and school suggested I leave. At 15 went for year to Quaker boarding school.
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06 They didn`t take notice of diabetes – that helped. Did O Levels, then returned to London. A Levels at FE college.
At 17, went to Gt Ormond St with tooth abscess. Then moved to Middlesex Hospital. Sad to leave Gt Ormond St. (I sometimes made up test results!)
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07 Got to know Dr. Newnes & staff at Gt Ormond St.
At FE college, they didn`t know I had diabetes. I became independent & methodical.
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08 After diagnosis, parents felt guilty. Discovered relative died of “wasting disease”.
After FE college, took Diploma in Fine & Decorative Arts. Worked in bookshop, met husband, then worked at Tate for 9 years.
Diabetes no problem until stomach bug led to intensive care at St. Stephen`s Hospital in early ‘80s.
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09 Hospital changed insulin & talked re diet. I became more interested.
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10 Changed to 4 injections at King`s Hospital, when pregnant in `85.
Had married in `78. Husband coped well with diabetes.
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11 Glucose level of 6 during pregnancy. Pregnancy went well. King`s staff excellent, & were disappointed I had caesarean, as I was one of first to go 40 weeks.
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12 Hospital aftercare good. Went back to work full-time, then got part-time job with company that bought art for corporations.
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13 In `87, father & brother died. Husband held up with gun. Moved to Oxford & John Radcliffe Hospital. Then moved to Radcliffe Infirmary – less waiting. Went on human insulin, had problems, returned to porcine – in late 80s. (Now on human again.)
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14 Became pregnant 1989. “Silver Star” care at JR not as advanced as care at King`s.Knew she was a girl.
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15 Pregnancy more difficult because of “lows”. Obstetricians insisted on induction at 38 weeks, so I chose caesarian.
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16 Daughter born 1990, weighing 5 pounds.
Ran business with mother for 4 years.
Worked in Oxford colleges.
Daughter developed diabetes in 1999 & college reluctant to give time off, so I left. Daughter was 9 – great shock.
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17 Went to see geneticist for explanation.
Daughter had 2 nights in JR children`s ward.
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18 Consultant assumed I could cope. I wept. Diabetic nurse helpful. Daughter should have had a week in hospital.
Her school wonderful.
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19 Her school coped much better than mine. But she had less training in hospital. She rebelled over injections until she did them herself.
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20 There`s more information about now. Her regime is more flexible than mine was. She`s on Lantus & Lispro.
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21 Last year I changed to Lantus and NovoRapid. Now easier to handle diabetes. I don`t hide my diabetes as I used to.
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22 Daughter injects in public; I go to loo!
Recent publicity about type 2 leads to wrong assumptions about people with type 1.
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23 Daughter relates to medical staff through me. I should stand back more.
I handle diabetes fine, but hard to see effects on daughter.
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24 Thinks have improved greatly for diabetics recently. For me “like brushing teeth”.
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25 In 1968 or 9 I was told I couldn`t have children, but I have 2.
Being diabetic less solitary now. When I was diagnosed, I hid it: now daughter not ashamed.
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Transcript
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Extras
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